Date of Completion


Document Type

Open Access Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Carol Smith


Myths and assumptions about creativity often lead us to believe that creativity is innate. Researchers find though, that we develop creative skills like any other ability, through opportunity, encouragement and practice. They also believe that most people fail to reach their creative potential, not because of lack of ability, but lack of opportunity. In this paper, I studied how creativity functions (specifically in terms of my own painting practice) and how it can be applied more flexibly. Certain factors, such as access to strong mentors, freedom to experiment, and readily available resources, help potentially exceptional minds find the passion to define challenges, and the confidence to pursue remarkable achievements. Like any professional practitioners, artists learn to identify new problems, and engineer critical solutions when standard solutions fail. The earlier we start on this path, the further ahead we are able to push our work. The creative cycle helps us harness our skills and creative problem solving allows us to discover new ways to achieve. Essentially, breakthroughs are built on baby-steps and I took my first steps back to painting when I joined the CCT program after more than a year of creative stagnation. Conducting this synthesis project allowed me to conclude that the work of each artist contributes to the overall health of the creative hive. Since our general productivity is connected to our environment, our community, and great numbers of active creative creatures working among us, I invite each reader to consider what they might gain from and contribute to our creative ecology.


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